Tuesday, 22 November 2016

A sunset

In 2014 artist Lois Blackburn began working on two history quilts with older people in rural Derbyshire. Stitching the Wars is the story of a community that survived two world wars and harsh poverty. It is a kind of documentary, constructed with recollection, poetry, and the art of stitching. Perhaps in making it, a few wounds were healed.

‏A series of poems accompany the quilts. All of the stories and poems here are people's own words. They speak not only of violence, or sadness, but also of great affection for the past, for their fellow humans, and for the beauty of the land around them. In love and in hate, in war and in peace, you'll find their words here, set among stitched fields of greens and browns and blood red.

Me mother's were all Darley Dale people
Can't make pudding like mum
Father kept a few cows, TB in the milk
Lived on a farm, copper for the water
Family of four, fire definitely: photos in me head
Gosh yes, two sisters and me twin and
I do like the sunset time, from the spire
I do love to hear the church bells.

Keep warm, always warm clothes we did
Oh do look at the sunset, stay warm by
The fire, it was nice with a few aunties and uncles
A lovely surround, over the Xmas, joining us it was
All born at Darley Dale, memories
Are how you make yourself, on me mother's side
Memories we do like to see and
I love to hear church bells.

My brother's TB was all the worry
Nothing worse than a child ill
Got to pay the doctor
Got a picture in me head now
Of the train at Monsal Head, loaded
With churns of milk for Manchester
Orange sky spreads, the spire, the spire
And it all belongs to the Duke: the lovely fireplace
The farm, a mid-Autumn sunset and
I love to hear the church bells.

Anne Purseglove
22 October 2015

A detail of A Bomber's Moon quilt for the project Stitching the Wars

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